A new OECD Report “School Leadership for Learning” uses the data of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) from 2013 to analyse different strategies of school leadership and its impact on the school’s learning communities and learning climate. Principals and teachers in lower secondary education in 30 countries were asked about learning environments and working conditions in their schools, as well as leadership practices and relationships between principals, teachers and other stakeholders.

The report shows that the greater sense of purpose within the school is associated with a distributed leadership approach which focuses on the involvement of staff, parents and students in school decisions. However, according to the report, the more popular at schools instructional leadership which refers to the principal’s efforts in the planning, evaluation and co-ordination of teaching and learning, demonstrates a greater level of collaboration between teachers. Thus, the report suggests that the integrated approach combining distributed and instructional leadership is the most optimal for the development of professional learning communities. Other policy recommendations of the report include requiring principals to participate in the in-service training and leadership preparation programmes, as well as supporting and sustaining teachers’ professional development to enhance their sense of self-efficacy.

ETUCE considers distributed leadership and autonomy in teaching the key features for the professional development of teachers and other education personnel that allows them to fulfil their task professionally, and effectively. ETUCE also points out that in today’s world, professional development and support programmes for school leaders are essential to allow them to respond to the various challenges, such as an increasingly digitalised society, globalisation, economic crises, migration and refugees, and other academic, social and economic issues.